Thank you, brotha!!
In the first year, all I did was try to run and build up cardio endurance. I lost about 40 pound alone the first year. To be able to run a mile without being gassed out was a long time goal for me.
second year, I hit a plateau and decided to start lifting. Of course, all I though about was just lifting heavy. Being untrained and not really coordinated, that was difficult. I had no idea in programming or developing a training routine. Didn't have a trainer. I picked up magazines and read workout routines and just looked at the movement and did my best to imitate them. Until I hurt myself. still doing a bunch of cardio and lifting, lost another 20 pounds then really plateaued.
I didn't really look at what I was eating or how much. Ended up seeing down the road that I was crash dieting and then overeating and then not eating.
third year, I stepped back and started really learning. browsing a lot on T-nation, other reputable training coaches, nutritionists, fitness gurus, and of course a lot of magazines. Took the initiative to really look into programming and actually studying training style of bodybuilders that I admired.
Fourth year, I met my mentor who really helped me understand foundation. He help me understand and build a stronger foundation and since then I've been researching and focusing on continuing to tighten up my foundation in all my training.
I crash dieted really bad. I actually lost a lot of size then had to build back up and cut down again. when I was 165-170, all I literally had was a mid-section and that was cause of cardio and excessive dieting. when I built back up, my metabolism was shot so I rebounded hard. reading up on information regard to taking advantage of glycogen super re-compensation, it ended working for my good. though I got kind of thick around the mid-section, the weight gained helped me push harder in the gym and focus on building muscle.
Today, I'm down to 188 at 9% and my goal is 180 at 5-6% in the next 12 weeks.